May 4, 2015

5 Reasons the Best Dinner in Yosemite is NOT at the Ahwahnee

Your special occasion has arrived. You head towards the best-kept dining secret in National Park vacations . Dressed smartly you enter through large glass doors to a finely laid table with linen tablecloths, beautiful views of Yosemite and a charming waiter. Let me guess- you are eating dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel (aka Majestic)? NO! Choosing wisely, you are dining at the Mountain Room, located at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. The Mountain Room offers a premium dining experience that outshines the higher-priced offerings down the road and will leave you feeling satisfied AND smart!

The Mountain Room Restaurant

1. Casual and relaxing, enjoy intimate fine dining in comfort

Don't you felt a bit stiff eating in your absolute best clothes? While we often dress up to go to the Mountain Room, we are comfortable in our hiking clothes. The accepting attitude doesn’t take away from the dining experience, as everything around you sings out quality. But, it does make you feel welcome. Even the warm lofted wood trimmed ceilings in the room add to the comfort factor –not so much like a castle. Cozy and more intimate, there are little nooks and crannies to sit in without everyone watching you, unlike the wide open room in “another” nearby establishment.

2. The price to value ratio is just right.

With entrees ranging from $12-$39, it leaves room for starters, dessert and drinks with a price tag for two people that is consistently around $100 with tip.
Less than half the price of dinner at the Ahwahnee . Pretty darn affordable for being inside a National Park.
You can order what you want, and the pressure is off for making this your one perfect experience, because you can go again! And you will want to come back.

3. The food is delicious.

We have tried almost everything on the menu ("almost" only because they constantly change it up) and we never had an entrée we didn’t enjoy. We enjoy the steaks, but the seafood is great too. Many options for all kinds of appetites. Plating is generous and unpretentious – because actually, a little swirl of something colorful doesn’t make your food taste better or your stomach feel more full. Hearty eaters, we still sometimes take home a small to-go box. Always good veggies and organic features on the menu.
We can’t decide if the food is BETTER than the Ahwahnee – it might be. But it is certainly AS GOOD.

4. The bar is better, cheaper and larger with affordable appetizers.

Why does this matter? The restaurants can get busy, so you often need to pass some time. The Mountain Room Bar fits the bill perfectly, complete with a real fireplace and TVs to watch sports. Restaurant staff provide a buzzer to call you when your table is ready.

5. No reservations required.

We love that we can just show up and eat at the Mountain Room. No need to plan a few nights ahead for a reservation. Depending on the season, you might even get seated immediately. We prefer to arrive right when dinner is starting out for the night, but have closed down the house many times.

Make sure to put the Mountain Room on your list and try to sit with one of our favorite waiters, Jose or Jeff.

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